Carlsbad is a weekend destination for food lovers - Carlsbad restaurants serve American classics, innovative dishes and everything in between. After a morning of exploration, have a casual lunch where you will get to sample superb seafood, sushi, Mexican food or burgers. End the day with a romantic celebration at one of the elegant restaurants serving Californian, fine French or Italian dishes. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Hours/availability may have changed.
Boasting picturesque views of the coastline from the cliff top of Carlsbad’s highest point, TWENTY/20 is the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa’s signature restaurant and offers a delightful, romantic dining experience. The stylish restaurant features several seating options, from an upscale dining room and covered outdoor terrace to an intimate bar and elegant lounge with custom-designed fire and water features that create a comfortable ambiance.
Executive Chef Julian Quinones presents a menu of farm-to-coast cuisine inspired by the fresh flavors of the California coast and made with organic and locally sourced ingredients for breakfast, lunch and dinner. From starters and flatbreads to delectable main courses that include pan roasted salmon and pork Osso Bucco, a wide range of dishes cater to every taste.
Wine lovers can choose from more than 100 selections by the bottle and 30 wines by the glass from an extensive wine list featuring vintages from around the world, as well as a selection of barrel-aged cocktails and margaritas.
5480 Grand Pacific Drive, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-827-2500
2.West Steak and Seafood
© West Steak and Seafood
West Steak and Seafood is an intimate fine dining restaurant that has fast become one of Carlsbad’s favored dining venues since opening in 2005. The restaurant’s creative culinary team presents a healthy farm-to-table menu of the highest quality prime steaks, seafood, fresh salads and vegetables from the West Farm and decadent desserts, all served in a casual and relaxed ambiance.
Starters include baked blue crab cakes, seared jumbo scallops and crispy lobster spring rolls. Composed plates feature Big Eye tuna from Hawaii, oven roasted chicken and a surf-and-turf plate of fresh Maine lobster and filet mignon. West Steak and Seafood is one of the best Carlsbad CA restaurants and boasts a full-service bar that serves an extensive wine list of wines by the glass, half-bottle, and full bottle, as well as sparkling wines from around the world.
4980 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-930-9100
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3.Paon Restaurant and Wine Bar
© Paon Restaurant and Wine Bar
Paon Restaurant serves fine French cuisine with California influences in an elegant Art Deco-style setting. Soft lighting, tones of cream and gold and beautiful artworks set the scene for an intimate dining experience and knowledgeable and attentive staff caters to every need.
Paon's menu features seasonal, locally grown, organic produce for the palates of gourmands and food lovers, with dishes such as Traditional French Escargot Bourguignon in garlic butter, Veal Sweet Breads in a black truffle sauce, Seared Rare Hawaiian Yellowfin Tuna served with Truffle Vinaigrette and Sun Choke Purée, and Pan Roasted Pheasant served with Vegetable Truffle Risotto in a Madeira Sauce.
A stylish lounge and relaxing outdoor patio are ideal spots for enjoying a pre-dinner cocktail or post-dinner drink from the extensive wine list, and a private dining room is available for special occasions or large group gatherings.
2975 Roosevelt St, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-729-7377
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4.Beach Plum Kitchen
© Beach Plum Kitchen
Beach Plum Kitchen is a breakfast and lunch restaurant that serves organic fare made from locally and regionally sourced ingredients in a contemporary and casual setting. Meals include a range of egg plates and omelets, such as New York steak and eggs and Carnitas and Eggs, while the griddle produces delights such as pancakes, waffles, and French toast.
Healthier options include muesli and yogurt, homemade granola, quinoa and coconut porridge and smoked salmon bagels. The lunch boasts an array of sandwiches, burritos, burgers and lobster rolls, as well as salads and specials of clam chowder, chicken and bean chili and pork belly hash.
Plaza Paseo Real, 6971 El Camino Real #201, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-931-1362
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5.Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar
© Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar
Fusing the fresh flavors of the ocean with traditions of the past, Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar offers diners an unparalleled seafood experience. Featuring a traditional robata grill, a cooking style that originated centuries ago when Japanese fishermen needed a way to cook on their boats, Blue Ocean presents a menu of fresh seafood and sushi, signature cocktails, craft beers, wine, and spirits. Starters include salt and pepper calamari, crispy soft shell crab and chilled oysters.
The robata grill presents hot plates of salmon steak, grilled octopus, miso-glazed black cod, and five-spice duck tacos. Fresh, made-to-order sushi and sashimi can be enjoyed at the sushi bar while a special three-course set menu features soups and salad, assorted sashimi, fish and vegetable stir-fry.
2958 Madison Street, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-434-4959
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© Las Olas
Las Olas is a vibrant and inviting restaurant in the heart of old Carlsbad that serves authentic and traditional Mexican food, margaritas, and cocktails.
Las Olas offers an array of delicious Mexican fare, ranging from Build-Your-Own-Taco-Platters with fillings like scallops, sautéed fish, chicken, carnitas and vegetables, stuffed flame-roasted Poblano chilies, Mahi Mahi or shrimp to traditional delights like grilled vegetable enchiladas, carne asada burritos, and crispy fried beef, chicken tacos or famous fish tacos.
Fresh food is prepared daily using locally sourced organic ingredients, fresh herbs, and spices. Pair cuisine with local craft beers and sublime margaritas that can be found at all three San Diego locations.
2939 Carlsbad Blvd., Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-434-5850
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7.Carlsbad restaurants: Chandler's
Chandler’s is an elegant restaurant located on Cape Rey that serves delicious simply prepared food in a relaxed California coastal-style ambiance. Boasting a stylish West Coast theme with casual indoor and outdoor dining spaces, the seasonal menu features ‘New American’ cuisine made from fresh locally sourced ingredients, seafood, and farm produce. Diners can enjoy a range of food from full American and continental breakfasts to fresh salads, soups and sandwiches for lunch and succulent steaks, salmon, chicken and swordfish for dinner.
The menu is complemented by an excellent selection of wines, outstanding service, and spectacular ocean views.
1 Ponto Road, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-683-5500
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© Miguel's Cocina
Miguel’s Cocina is a haven for Mexican food and is home to some of the most authentic Mexican flavors north of the border. Opened in 1982 through a love of traditional regional cooking, Miguel’s menu captures the true spirit of Mexico with classics such as sizzling sirloin fajitas, Sonoran grilled swordfish tacos and spicy, rich chicken mole, as well as artisan cuisine of fresh salsa, handmade tortillas, and decadent jalapeño white sauce.
Vibrant décor and signature friendly service accompany the enticing menu which ca be enjoyed at six locations all around the country, including on Avenida Encinas in Carlsbad.
5980 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-759-1843 (website)
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9.The Seafood & Steakhouse
© The Seafood & Steakhouse
Boasting breath-taking views of the Pacific Ocean and an Old World Italian elegance, The Seafood & Steakhouse is part of the Vigilucci’s Group, serving certified prime steaks and fresh seafood alongside an award-winning wine list.
The decadent private dining room is spacious and light with an elegant charm while tones of cream and beige and crisply set tables present an air of tranquility. The aesthetic appeal is continued in the menu with starters of gourmet antipasti platters, Primi Piatti of fresh salads and Secondi Piatti of pistachio-herb crusted New Zealand rack of lamb, seafood cioppino, and sesame-crusted sashimi grade seared ahi tuna. Dolce offers Italian-inspired desserts such as tiramisu and gourmet gelato while the notable wine list presents wines from Italy, California and other countries renowned for their superb wines.
3878 Carlsbad, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-434-2580
10.Carlsbad Restaurants: Board and Brew
© Board and Brew
Board & Brew serves a simple, straightforward menu of quality sandwiches and craft beer, made from fresh local ingredients and served by friendly, welcoming staff. Boasting a relaxed, beach atmosphere and casual, laid-back ambiance, Board & Brew presents a menu of delicious sandwiches with toppings such as tuna, pastrami, chicken, turkey breast and fresh vegetables, homemade soups and salads, and specials from the grill.
A range of craft beer is available to accompany the food and Board & Brew’s menu can be enjoyed on site or ordered online.
Bressi: 2675 Gateway Road, Bressi Ranch, Carlsbad, CA 92009, Phone: 760-929-2739; Village: 201 Oak Avenue, Carlsbad Village, CA 92008, Phone: 760-434-4466
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11.The Naked Cafe
© The Naked Cafe
The Naked Café is all about healthy food and eating and serves a menu of simple cuisine created from whole foods and incredible flavors. Balancing wholesome grains and powerful herbs and spices with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, environmentally conscious and globally influenced dishes are inspired from foods around the world, such as coconut French toast, homemade pancakes, quesadillas, wraps and tacos, salads, soups, and sandwiches.
A range of beverages is on offer, from 100% organic Fair Trade coffee, teas, smoothies, and freshly squeezed juices, to local beers and champagne cocktails.
300 Carlsbad Village Drive, Suite 107A, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-720-7866
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12.Cicciotti's Tratoria Italiano & Seafood
© Cicciotti's Tratoria Italiano & Seafood
Cicciotti’s Tratoria Italiano is conveniently located in the heart of Carlsbad Village, at the corner of Grand and Roosevelt. A popular dining and meeting place for Carlsbad locals and visitors, the tratoria offers authentic modern Italian cuisine served in a contemporary setting with both indoor and outdoor dining areas, ideal for a date night dinner. The extensive menu starts off with a good selection of appetizers, including their signature meatballs served with Marinara Sauce. Appetizers are followed by some excellent salads, a wide choice of delicious pasta dishes and meat, chicken and fish entrees. They also serve mouth-watering pizzas, risottos and calzone. Needless to say, they also offer some great wines to accompany your meal.
Cicciotti’s Tratoria Italiano, 595 Grand Avenue, Carlsbad, CA 92008, 760 994 0553
13.Bob's Steak and Chop House
© Bob's Steak and Chop House
Meat-loving couples need look no further than Bob’s Steak and Chop House for their next romantic night out. Ever since the first Bob’s Steak House opened in Dallas Texas in 1993, the restaurant has built up a solid reputation for serving only the finest beef cuts in the land, accompanied by their famous Texas-size side dishes. Prime cuts of meat deserve to be accompanied by a superior wine, and Bob’s offers a wide selection of fine wines served by the glass. The setting is warm and inviting, offering the perfect ambiance for a romantic dinner. Although the emphasis is firmly on great red meat, there is also a selection of seafood dishes and vegetarian sides and salads.
Bob’s Steak and Chop House, 2100 Costa Del Mar Road, Carlsbad, CA 92008,
760 929 6346
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© Dini's Bistro
Dini’s Bistro offers couples the ultimate sunset backdrop to set the stage for a memorable romantic night out. Dini’s is a classic American Bar and Grill, where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner overlooking the ocean. They also host a happy hour which is perfect for catching an early sunset in spring and fall. Appetizer favorites include fresh oysters on the half-shell, perfectly cooked fresh scallops and delicious crab cakes. There are entrée choices for vegetarians and vegans, a good selection of salads and some delicious thin-crust pizzas. Carnivores will surely find the burgers and rib-eye steak to their liking.
Dini’s Bistro, 3290 Carlsbad Blvd, Carlsbad, CA 92008, 760 434 6000
15.Jejune et Jolie
A bright and warm interior ushers guests into the indoor dining area of Jeune et Jolie, where you will be offered a fabulous modern taste of France presented in a four-course fine-dining menu, with or without a curated wine pairing. On a fine evening, there is also the chance to enjoy a romantic alfresco dinner on the terrace. The 4-course menu offers a choice of beautifully prepared seasonal amuse-bouché, appetizers, entrees and desserts for a set price. If you prefer a more casual option you can order individual items from their a la carte menu at the bar. In addition to an extensive wine list, you may also choose from a selection of French liquors like Absinthe, Pastis and hand-crafted cocktails.
2659 State Street, Suite 102, Carlsbad, CA 92008, 760 637 5266
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© 264 Fresco
264 Fresco is a great place to visit for a romantic dinner date. The restaurant boasts a bright and welcoming interior, enhanced by floor-to-ceiling windows and large mirrors and there is also a deck for alfresco dining. The menu presents you with a good selection of modern Italian dishes featuring tempting appetizers like Roaster Artichokes and Eggplant Parmigiana. These are followed by a selection of salads, pizzas, pastas and mouth-watering entrees including their Braised Short Rib with Gnocci and Wild Mushrooms and a decadent Lobster Risotto. You can round off your romantic dinner with a delicious Panna Cotta, Tiramisu or Cannoli.
264 Fresco, 264 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008, 760 720 3737
17.The Green Dragon Tavern and Museum
© Green Dragon Tavern and Museum
Inspired by the famous Green Dragon Tavern in Boston, where the American Revolution was plotted and planned, Carlsbad’s Green Dragon Tavern and Museum offers a unique venue for a romantic night out. The historic building contains a treasure trove of early American history which you are invited to check out (for free) while you wait for your dinner to be served. The large and varied menu offers something for all tastes; you can start off with a delicious appetizer, soup or salad before moving on to the hearty entrees. There are several choices for vegetarians and vegans as well as gluten-free pizzas, mouthwatering meat and seafood dishes and fabulous desserts.
The Green Dragon Tavern and Museum, 6115 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92011, 760 918 2421
Inspired by the beauty and bounty of the Great Californian Outdoors, Campfire endeavors to capture the essence of a traditional camping meal in each and every dish they serve. Most of the cooking is done over a fire to ensure authentic flavors and aromas. The light and airy interior offers the ideal ambiance for a romantic date night dinner and the menu has plenty of options to suit all tastes. You can start off with one of their interesting appetizers which include warmed oysters, grilled prawns and wagyu skewers, before ordering your favorite seafood or meat cooked on the open fire. Needless to say, s’mores features on the dessert menu.
Campfire, 2725 State Street, Carlsbad, CA 92008, 760 637 5121
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19.Casa de Bandini
© Casa de Bandini
When the fresh and healthy flavors of Mexico are all you can think of, Casa de Bandini is the place to go in Carlsbad. The warm and welcoming atmosphere of the restaurant provides the ideal backdrop to your romantic night out and you can expect to feast on authentic Mexican flavors, delicious hand-crafted Margaritas and freshly grilled homemade tortillas. Many of the dishes are perfect for sharing - just of few of the most popular sharing plates include their Nachos Supremos, Tostado Trio and Muchisimos Taquitos. Special healthy dining options include the citrus Ceviche, Tacos de Pescado Tropicales and the flavor-filled Chicken and Black Bean Tostada.
Casa de Bandini, 1901 Calle Barcelona, Carlsbad, CA 92009, 760 634 3443
20.Vigilucci’s Cucina Italiana
© Vigilucci’s Cucina Italiana
Vigilucci’s elegant interior perfectly sets the scene for a romantic dinner in the heart of downtown Carlsbad. There is an outdoor terrace and an indoor bar where you can enjoy a drink before you sit down to order a classic Italian dinner. You can choose from a selection of delicious appetizers including Oven Roasted Artichokes, Carpaccio de Manzo (thinly sliced raw beef fillet dressed with olive oil, arugula and capers and the house antipasti for two. These are followed by a selection of salads and a large variety of delicious home-make pasta creations. They also serve irresistible entrees including veal escalope, Ossobuco, and fresh fish of the day.
Vigilucci’s Cucina Italiana, 2943 State Street, Carlsbad, CA 92008, 760 434 2500
20 Best Romantic Carlsbad, CA Restaurants
- TWENTY/20, Photo: TWENTY/20
- West Steak and Seafood, Photo: West Steak and Seafood
- Paon Restaurant and Wine Bar, Photo: Paon Restaurant and Wine Bar
- Beach Plum Kitchen, Photo: Beach Plum Kitchen
- Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar, Photo: Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar
- Las Olas, Photo: Las Olas
- Carlsbad restaurants: Chandler's, Photo: Chandler's
- Miguel's Cocina, Photo: Miguel's Cocina
- The Seafood & Steakhouse, Photo: The Seafood & Steakhouse
- Carlsbad Restaurants: Board and Brew, Photo: Board and Brew
- The Naked Cafe, Photo: The Naked Cafe
- Cicciotti's Tratoria Italiano & Seafood, Photo: Cicciotti's Tratoria Italiano & Seafood
- Bob's Steak and Chop House, Photo: Bob's Steak and Chop House
- Dini's Bistro, Photo: Dini's Bistro
- Jejune et Jolie, Photo: filirovska/stock.adobe.com
- 264 Fresco, Photo: 264 Fresco
- The Green Dragon Tavern and Museum, Photo: Green Dragon Tavern and Museum
- Campfire, Photo: NORN/stock.adobe.com
- Casa de Bandini, Photo: Casa de Bandini
- Vigilucci’s Cucina Italiana, Photo: Vigilucci’s Cucina Italiana
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of TWENTY/20
Attraction Spotlight: LEGOLAND California Resort
Situated just north of San Diego in Carlsbad, LEGOLAND® California Resort is a family-friendly themed play park with over 60 interactive attractions, rides, and shows for visitors of all ages. LEGOLAND® is also home to SEA LIFE® Aquarium and the LEGOLAND® Water Park – the first such park in the world. There is also a hotel at the resort that offers comfortable overnight accommodation and delicious cuisine.
LEGOLAND® Water Park
LEGOLAND® California Resort is the first LEGOLAND® resort in the world to feature a water park. Located next to the buildings in Fun Town, the Water Park features a variety of water-based activities and adventures, including Build-A-Raft, DUPLO Splash Safari, Imagination Station, Joker Soaker, Orange Rush, Pirate Reef, Splash Out, Soak-n-Sail, Twin Chasers, and Splash Zoo. The Chima Water Park features several adventures such as Cragger’s Swamp, Crooler’s Twist, Crug’s Run, Eglor’s Build-a-Boat, and the Lion Temple Wave Pool.
SEA LIFE® Aquarium
The SEA LIFE® Aquarium is an interactive aquarium and marine park that offers visitors an interactive guide to the life of the sea. The Aquarium features interactive and hands-on learning activities, adventures, up-close encounters with sea creatures and a variety of fascinating educational talks.
Explorer Island is a dinosaur-themed exploration area of the park which features a large sand pit where children can ‘dig’ for fossils, a Gerstlauer-built mini steel roller coaster, and a replica of the LEGOLAND Deutschland roller coaster ‘Drachenjagd.’
Based on the LEGO Friends brand, LEGOLAND®’s Heartlake City features a ‘Friends Forever Stage’ where visitors can perform music shows, the Heartlake Water Fountain, a play area known as Heartlake Stables and ‘Mia’s Riding Camp.’
Miniland USA is a miniature park that features a 1:20 scale model that features significant architecture and symbols from seven areas in the United States, built from more than 20 million LEGO bricks. Miniland USA also has a Model Shop, the primary design and building office for Legoland's US parks where visitors can watch master builders at work on new models.
Castle Hill and Fun Town
Castle Hill is a medieval-themed area within the LEGOLAND® California Resort that features a miniature golf course, and Fun Town is an interactive role-playing area where visitors can simulate a variety of different professional identities or adult skills.
Visitors can have water-based fun on six water-oriented attractions and rides at the Pirate Shores splash park. Attractions and adventures include Splash Battle, Soak-N-Sail, Treasure Falls, Swabbie's Deck, Captain Cranky's Challenge, and Pirate Reef, a ‘shoot the chutes’ attraction with water cannons, a splash bridge, and a brick building play area.
Land of Adventure
Designed to replicate Egypt in the 1920s, Land of Adventure features a range of attractions that take visitors back to the land of Pharaohs such as Pharaoh's Revenge, Beetle Bounce, Cargo Ace, Dune Raiders, and Lost Kingdom Adventure.
The Imagination Zone features a variety of activities where visitors have to use their imagination, including Maniac Challenge, where guests play LEGO PC games, and a Wild Mouse-style roller coaster called the Technic Coaster-Test Track. Other attractions include Build 'n Test, where kids can race Leg cars, Mindstorms, Maniac Challenge, Aquazone Wave Racers, and Bionicle Blaster.
LEGOLAND® Park Hotel
LEGOLAND® California Resort features a LEGO® themed hotel with 250 themed rooms based on the popular LEGO lines such as Adventure, Kingdom, Pirate, and LEGO Friends. The hotel offers comfortable family-friendly accommodations, several restaurants with a variety of cuisine, interactive LEGO features and modern amenities and nightly children's entertainment.
LEGOLAND® California Resort is located at 1 Legoland Drive in Carlsbad. Fifteen restaurants and diners around the resort offer a variety of cuisine from burgers to pizza, and strollers and wheelchairs can be rented for guests with babies, small children, and disabilities.
1 Legoland Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008, Phone: 877-376-5346
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